Author:

Lance Benzel

Legal Affairs reporter

Lance Benzel covers legal affairs for The Gazette, with a focus on the criminal courts, and also writes a monthly mountain biking column entitled "Rider in Residence." He joined the newspaper's staff in 2008 after previous stops in Billings, Mont., central North Carolina and Chicago.

Prosecutor Donna Billek arrives for the competency hearing for Robert Dear, Jr., Thursday, April 28, 2016, in the El Paso Country Judicial Building in Colorado Springs. Dear faces 179 counts, including murder and attempted murder, in the Planned Parenthood attack Nov. 27, 2015. (AP Pool, The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
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COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - December 09: Robert Dear Jr. appears in court on December 09, 2015 where El Paso County prosecutors filed formal charges against him in the Planned Parenthood attack during which University of Colorado Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey, Iraq war veteran Ke'Arre Stewart and Jennifer Markovsky, mother of two were killed on November 27, 2015. Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post